8.31.2006

Stupid Is as Stupid Does

Yesterday, I posted about the destruction of education in the country. My father was a school teacher in the 40s and 50s. He found himself often in opposition to school boards because he insisted that hs students be educated, rather than trained. He once defined the difference for me:
"Education is the acceptance of knowledge which allows us to think for our selves. Training is the deliverance of instruction so we won't have to thnk at all."
I give you this story from today's NYT:
Students’ Paths to Small Colleges Can Bypass SAT

By TAMAR LEWIN
Published: August 31, 2006

It is still far too early to sound the death knell, but for many small liberal arts colleges, the SAT may have outlived its usefulness.

Since Bowdoin and Bates dropped their testing requirements decades ago, more than a fourth of U.S. News & World Report’s Top 100 liberal arts colleges have made admissions exams optional, and new ones are joining the list at a quickening pace.

The new colleges include Mount Holyoke, Middlebury, Hamilton, Union and Dickinson. In recent months, George Mason, Providence College and Hobart and William Smith Colleges have also become test-optional.

Admissions officers said eliminating the testing requirement had increased both the size and diversity of their applicant pools, and bolstered their reputation as places personal enough to consider each applicant individually.

At the same time, the revamped, longer SAT, the drop in average scores announced Tuesday and recent problems with scoring have created growing disenchantment. College officials also say that tests — whether the SAT, or in the Midwest, the ACT — are not the best predictors of performance . . .
If you don't sense what dangerous bullshit this is, you've been victimized. We are committing intellectual suicide. We are saying, "these kids ain't smart 'nuff after twelve years of school to pass a standard test, so there must be a problem with the test." It's like saying, "nobody can pass a driving test, so we'll just eliminate it and give everyone a license, whether they can drive or not."

Sick fucks.

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8.29.2006

Down, Down, Down, In that Burning Ring of Fire . . .



(This series about my life on the street and in a shelter, because of an alcoholism/drug addiction relapse begins here . . .)

After a one hour class at the shelter, every day I make my way downtown and stop at the library computer center to check email, communicate with friends, and (sometimes) post.

Directly across the street is a network TV station studio, with a trailer marquee above the plate glass window.

This morning, one of the headlines says that "SAT Records Biggest Score Drop in 31 Years". Hmmmmmmmmmm, 31 Years? Wasn't there a stupid, nasty, immoral war going on then, too? Of course, maybe there's no correlation there - maybe we're just finally seeing the effects of half a century of systematic dismantling of our education system. The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang and its successors (The Hillary-Feinstein Gang or whatever), depends on an undereducated, TV reality-show addicted, sex-crazed, brain-damaged population to stay its course.

By the way . . . searching for some workable democracy? Every day, for the past three weeks, I've been living out of a homeless shelter, in the company of around 75 men who constantly help me, guide me, educate me, and treat me with the same dignity with which I treat them. We are all at the mercy of others who devote time, money, and spirit to our survival. None of these folks work for the "government".



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8.24.2006

Reality Checks 082406


From World War 4 Report, "Lebanon and the NeoCon End Game", clips:
There have been signs over the past three years, as the debacle in Iraq has gone from bad to worse, that the so-called "neo-cons"—the Pentagon-connected policy wonks with traditional ties to the Israeli right and ultra-ambitious schemes to remake the entire order of the Middle East—have been taken down a peg. With the US actually in danger of losing control of Iraq, the notion of attacking Iran, or even plotting against supposed allies like Saudi Arabia, is starting to look more dangerous than attractive to Washington pragmatists.

The turning point would seem to have been in March 2003, when US troops were still advancing on Baghdad. At this decisive moment, Pentagon official Richard Perle resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board, a high-level group that advises Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on policy issues. On March 27, the same day he resigned, Perle told BBC: "This will be the short war I and others predicted... I don't believe it will be months. I believed all along that it will be a quick war, and I continue to believe that."

Stepping down as chair, Perle would remain on the board until 2004. Also serving on the Defense Policy Board at this time were former CIA director James Woolsey, former Vice President Dan Quayle, and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Perle had become increasingly identified with a maximalist agenda to go beyond mere "regime change" in Iraq to topple regimes and even redraw borders throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds. On Oct. 1, 2002, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on a recent meeting in which Perle told Pentagon officials that Iraq was just a tactical goal, while Saudi Arabia was the strategic goal and Egypt was the great prize. Other ideas he reportedly put forth included permanent Israeli annexation of the Palestinian territories, a Palestinian state in Jordan, and a restored Hashemite monarchy in Iraq . . .

Richard Perle was so strongly opposed to nuclear arms control agreements with the USSR during his days as an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, that he became known as ''the Prince of Darkness.'' Since leaving the Defense Policy Board, he has carried on a political blog for the Washington Post. On June 25, just before the Lebanon conflagration began, he wrote a piece that took on the State Department pragmatists for backing down from expansion of Washington's war beyond Iraq. Unsubtly entitled "Why Did Bush Blink on Iran? (Ask Condi)," it stated:

"President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran knows what he wants: nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them; suppression of freedom at home and the spread of terrorism abroad... President Bush, too, knows what he wants: an irreversible end to Iran's nuclear weapons program, the 'expansion of freedom in all the world' and victory in the war on terrorism. The State Department and its European counterparts know what they want: negotiations... And now, on May 31, the administration offered to join talks with Iran on its nuclear program. How is it that Bush, who vowed that on his watch 'the worst weapons will not fall into the worst hands,' has chosen to beat such an ignominious retreat?"

Perle perceives that the White House has capitulated to the appeasement-oriented Europeans—and clearly places the blame with Rice's promotion to Secretary of State. He laments that "the geography of this administration has changed. Condoleezza Rice has moved from the White House to Foggy Bottom... [S]he is now in the midst of—and increasingly represents—a diplomatic establishment that is driven to accommodate its allies even when (or, it seems, especially when) such allies counsel the appeasement of our adversaries." . . .

Joseph Cirincione, writing for the ThinkProgress blog, traces the plan for Lebanon to a controversial document prepared in 1996 by Richard Perle, Douglas Feith (undersecretary of defense for policy until last year) and David Wurmser (former American Enterprise Institute wonk and now Dick Cheney's Middle East adviser). They document was prepared for the newly-elected Likud government in Israel, and called for "A Clean Break" with the policies of negotiating with the Palestinians and trading land for peace.

According to the document, the problem could be solved "if Israel seized the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in Lebanon." The document also called for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and "reestablishing the principle of preemption." It anticipated that the successes of these wars could be used to launch campaigns against Saudi Arabia and Egypt, reshaping "the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly."

Writes Cirincione: "Now, with the US bogged down in Iraq, with Bush losing control of world events, and with the threats to national security growing worse, no one could possibly still believe this plan, could they? Think again."

He notes that William Kristol, neo-con editor of the Weekly Standard, wrote in a column entitled "It's Our War" July 24 that Hezbollah is acting as Tehran's proxy and that the US should respond with air-strikes against Iran: "We might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait? Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions—and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement."

Cirincione concludes: "The neoconservatives are now hoping to use the Israeli-Lebanon conflict as the trigger to launch a US war against Syria, Iran or both. These profoundly dangerous policies have to be exposed and stopped before they do even more harm to US national security then they already have."

Then by Jim Hightower, writing for AlterNet, comes "Where Bush's Arrogance Has Taken Us." Excerpt:
During his gubernatorial days in Texas, George W let slip a one-sentence thought that unintentionally gave us a peek into his political soul. In hindsight, it should've been loudly broadcast all across our land so people could've absorbed it, contemplated its portent?and roundly rejected the guy's bid for the presidency. On May 21, 1999, reacting to some satirical criticism of him, Bush snapped: "There ought to be limits to freedom."

Gosh, so many freedoms to limit, so little time! But in five short years, the BushCheneyRummy regime has made remarkable strides toward dismembering the genius of the Founders, going at our Constitution and Bill of Rights like famished alligators chasing a couple of poodles.

Forget about such niceties as separation of powers, checks and balances (crucial to the practice of democracy), the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and open government-these guys are on an autocratic tear. Whenever they've been challenged (all too rarely), they simply shout "war on terror," "commander-in-chief," "support our troops," "executive privilege," "I'm the decider," or some other slam-the-door political phrase designed to silence any opposition. Indeed, opponents are branded "enemies" who must be demonized, personally attacked, and, if possible, destroyed. Bush's find-the-loopholes lawyers assert that a president has the right to lie (even about going to war), to imprison people indefinitely (without charges, lawyers, hearings, courts, or hope), to torture people, to spy on Americans without court or congressional review, to prosecute reporters who dare to report, to rewrite laws on executive whim? and on and on.

Finally, from Guardian Unlimited, "US interventions have boosted Iran, says report":
The US-led "war on terror" has bolstered Iran's power and influence in the Middle East, especially over its neighbour and former enemy Iraq, a thinktank said today.
A report published by Chatham House said the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had removed Iran's main rival regimes in the region.

Israel's conflict with the Palestinians and its invasion of Lebanon had also put Iran "in a position of considerable strength" in the Middle East, said the thinktank.
Gee, gosh, George. Thanks a bunch.


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8.23.2006

A News Break

Will Russia eventually win the Cold War? They are becoming a powerful country, in part because they really control a butt-load of oil. Here's a quote from The Wayne Madsen Report:
Aug. 23, 2006 -- WMR reporting today from Helsinki, Finland.

In another sign that the United States is rapidly drifting into "Third World" status as a major world debtor nation, Russia has announced that it has paid off its $31.1 billion debt to foreign countries incurred during Soviet times. Russia paid off its debt largely as a result of the increase in the price of oil -- a major Russian export. Not only has the ruble been made fully convertible but Russia is now attracting major investments and its bond rating has improved.

Russia's economic turnaround has also increased its clout at the expense of Bush's neo-con strategists. Russia has forgiven about two thirds of Syria's $13 billion debt and has initiated port development schemes in the ports of Tartus and Latakia, old Soviet naval bases. Russia's strong financial and military support for Syria checked neo-con plans to militarily attack Syria.

The paying off of Russia's debt to Germany, Britain, the Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Denmark, Portugal, France and other Paris Club creditor nations has also increased Moscow's financial and political clout in Europe at the expense of Washington's. Russia is to offer Eurobonds to commercial creditors in lieu of payment in U.S. dollars. Moscow's central bank reserves, estimated at $277 billion, are the world's third largest, ranked after those of Japan and China. On the other hand, the two Asian economic giants are America's two largest creditor nations.

Russia's economic clean bill of health would not have been possible had not President Vladimir Putin not declared war on Russia's criminal oligarch's, many of whom have fled to Israel and who reside in that country with guarantees from extradition back to Russia to stand trial. However, in 2005 Russia did jail for nine years Yukos oil oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky -- a dual Russian-Israeli citizen. Not surprisingly, George W. Bush, acting on behalf of Israeli criminal interests and neo-con advisers, led largely by Bush's favorite author, Israeli former Soviet "refusenik" Natan Sharansky, demanded that Putin free Khodorkosvky. Putin ignored Bush's plea . . .
Why does the Doubleduh-Cheney Gang hate America?

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8.22.2006

Talk about Grace . . . oh, my!

(This series about my life on the street and in a shelter, because of an alcoholism/drug addiction relapse begins here . . .)

Yesterday, I was "admitted" to Off the Street (OTS) I, bypassing the waiting list. I was amazed!

Advantages:

* no more van
* same bed (no bunk-bed) every night
* more meetings (in-house at HP)
* increased opportunities to make friends
* lighter pack, because I can leave clothes and other stuff at HP

Disadvantages:

* an awful lot of walking from HP to shelter (for classes) and back to HP. It's a tiresome 40 minute "trudge" with difficult hills. This morning was warm and soggy, the walking hard. But I'm getting stronger
* some hard work, with "cleanup" detail at HP in the a.m. and another task in the evening

Changes in itinerary:

* leave HP at 8 am
* walk to ilmington St shelter for 9-10 am class
* 10 am-12:30 pm computer center, soup kitchen (same as last week)
* 12:30 walk back to shelter for 1-2 pm class
* 3 pm walk back to HP
* 4 pm - at HP shelter: meeting/class, supper, detail, etc.

Deb: there's a bit of a bureaucratic process getting approval for y Friday sessions with you. I think it'll work out, but I'm wondering whether you have any 11 am to noon slots in your schedule (it would take me 45 minutes to walk to/from TFS.

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My losses from this last relapse:

* spent perhaps $600-$800 - now indigent until Unemployment is paid
* lost a comparatively comfortable and secure place to live
* the flow of my healing/recovery process
* my laptop and accessories (including important data on flash drive and CDs
* 5 months sobriety
* cell phone
* library book
* ability to attend outside AA meetings

Anyone have any suggestions about other things I lost?

I won't email in afternoon because I have to walk up to HP from 3 to 4 pm

Thank you all and of course . . .
Be at peace

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8.21.2006

Gratitude, Grace, and Introspection



(This is a diary of sorts: as a result of this last alcoholic relapse, I'm living on the street and in a shelter. The following is a reprint of an email to friends.)


Gratitude list:

  • my session with Deb and getting my medication on Friday

  • Cliff for driving me to WakeMed, for talking with me, letting me stay for a couple of hours at his apartment, for being my sponsor, for confronting me Saturday night, for giving me cigarettes and coffee

  • Deb, for her caring and straightforwardness, for information she gave me about alternatives

  • Jim, for letting me stay at his home Saturday and Sunday, for lending me money and buying me food, for his insight, support and caring, for getting me to my HP class this morning, for his TV, and for letting me sleep for about 12 hours Sunday thru this morning

  • THP for food and shelter

  • several street/THP people for their support, advice, information, cigarettes, and directions - also for a pair of shower sandals one of them gave me
    for my sobriety and strong feedback on the fact that I'm still seeing drinking/drugging as an option


Got my meds on Friday, but didn't get to classes and on the van list. I didn't understand that the Friday van list was used for the weekend.

Got a ride to Gateway group (the driver bought us breakfast, too: gratitude). Made three meetings there. Spent time with Jim, who picked me up there and got me to the shelter in time for the van.

I got "bumped" from the van because I wasn't on the list and got kind of pushed back in the line. The van took 26 guys and I was #27. I panicked (sp?), took a bus, walked to Helios and frantically made calls to Jim and Cliff. Cliff was great on the phone and he and Jim picked up and took me to Discovery. Then Jim took me home.
I told them that I considered getting drunk and trying to get into detox. Both of them pointed out that I still considered drinking an option. I realize how hard it is to reject it as an option. I think that I still am so feelings-centered, rather than consequences-centered.

I certainly see how much I lost and otherwise compromised during/as the result of this relapse - how hard I made it on myself. I still don't know if I'm willing enough.

Still don't know if my unemployment will come through. Kinda scary. Also don't know how long it'll be before I get my retirement payout.

Interestingly enough, it's easier to do "one day at a time" (or smaller increments) being on the street.

Thank you all so much for the support.

Be at peace
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8.15.2006

OUTGOING!!!!!!

This is a hard one to write . . .

First, if you're a steady and loyal reader, you're familiar with this stuff. I hope you won't desert me - but you may have more stable fish to fry . . .

If you clicked here from my OpEd News ad, welcome. Please read my posts starting on May 6, "The Real War and the Great Diversion", as well as "About P!". I hope you who have gotten here from other places will do the same . . .

If you just somehow washed up onto this shore unwittingly, all I can say is I hope that you may be critically informed . . .

So here it is. I need to take some time away again. I know, I know . . . again???. Yeah - but as The Mad Scientist (you won't know who I'm referring to unless you're been in the radleft blogoswamp for awhile) used to say, "fuck you if you think you're better than everyone else."

Thing is, Kristen, I'm badass brickwalling it again. Hard to travel on the streets less you travel under'em, too. I'm sick: addiction, alcoholism, bipolar, borderline personality disorder, blew my life life up, gotta do a shelter thing, and this and that. About that heroin suppository we did you, Kristen?? . . . the bump bump funny bear says he's sorry.

You think this is an entertainment thing? Maybe I'm trying to just get sympathy and readership? Think maybe my thoughts and experience and pain and honest writing is just some twisted shit? Pray for me anyway. Real hard.

See, the thing is, I don't have denial on my side anymore. All gone. Not just denial about what I gotta fight, but what you gotta fight.

Advice time kiddies: think you're kewl? Think the system's gonna work? Think you can play the late-stage kapitalist game? Think you can avoid what I'm going through?

Read "Howl". Do a mixloop - just two riffs: "Hotel California" and Jack Nicholson saying, "You can't handle the truth".

Live in this moment, my friends. Don't know whether I'm coming back, but I'm here, right here, right now. Even if you have to desert me, I guarantee my heart won't screw you.

A special kiss to Michael Miller at Informed Dissent.

Be at peace and at peace.

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8.11.2006

INCOMING!!!!!


OpEd News clips, from "Why there probably won't be any 2006 mid terms":
DEFENSE INTEL 100 FOR DUMMIES: HOW TO KNOW WHEN THE "TERROR PLOT" STORY IS REAL

This may be the most important Op-Ed I ever write in terms of the premise, the context, and the potential value to the reader, should all of this go where I've been predicting it will for almost three years.

I'm therefor going to begin here by telling you how to tell whether a report on a "foiled terror plot" is real, or disinformation designed to create and maintain mass paranoia for political gain, and you can decide for yourself. When I've explained how you can know the difference, I'll go on with my actual analysis of the period we're in.

Rule #1 for interrupting criminal/terrorist conspiracy rings: If your investigation is fortunate enough to identify members of said criminal terrorist/conspiracy, and you need to make arrests because (a), you have enough evidence to convict, and (b) waiting any longer would place the public at risk, KEEP ANY ARRESTS OF SUSPECTS SILENT:

DO NOT:

Notify or speak with the media or speak to reporters.

DO: Make any necessary arrests as quietly as possible, file sealed indictments, and make certain your terrorist suspect is isolated and prevented from sending any word or signal to others still at large.

Now then, regarding the alleged plot to blow up 9 airliners using liquid explosives, what did you just see, and when.

You saw the following: You saw an internationally publicized ANNOUNCEMENT that violates every single principle of investigative and procedural rules for securing follow up arrests.

August 11, 2006, via Yahoo News:
Chertoff: Not certain all plotters found

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 8 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The well-advanced plot to blow up airliners flying from Britain to the United States had the markings of al-Qaida, and it's not yet certain that authorities have found everyone involved, the
Homeland Security secretary says.....................................[go here]
OK, so you still can't bring yourself to be a ("aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhhh") conspiracy theorist. You really can't buy that Lebanon, the UMontana Three (or is it "Eleven" or . . . ), and the Airborne Liquid Gel Mishegass are a woven psych op? What the fuck is the matter with you? What will it take?

I've got a suggestion . . . how about you start privately acknowledging that what us "fringe lunatic" types are telling is real and really ominous? Don't tell anyone else . . . yet. But start preparing yourself. Because you're gonna hafta, like, live through it.

A false flag event, which I and others have been predicting for years, is extremely likely.

As Radar would say . . . "wait for it".

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8.07.2006

Why P! is Not Blogging Lebanon


  • Because everyone else is

  • Because all war is an aberration, a tragedy, and a crime against humanity

  • Because the attack on Lebanon is just another piece of the West's master plan to destroy the Islamic peoples - and I've blogged that endlessly already. I mean, what did you expect?

  • Because I just can't bear to catalogue the atrocities

  • Because I'd rather challenge the incredible cowardice of those of us, comfortable in our decadent Americanism, who are unable to do what we must do to stop this shit. Who among us is willing to stop whining and put our lives on the line for the innocent peoples who are being slaughtered?

  • Because "[we] know something is happening here, but [we] don't know what it is, do [we], Mister Jones?"

  • Because Mexicans, Ukranians, Bolivians, Venezuelans, and other courageous peoples can put it on the line, but we can't


Sleep well tonight. I won't.

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8.06.2006

Soldiers of Conscience

From AirForceTimes, "Thousands of troops say they won’t fight", excerpt:
Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, the Pentagon says. More than half served in the Army. But the Army says numbers have decreased each year since the United States began its war on terror in Afghanistan.

Those who help war resisters say desertion is more prevalent than the military has admitted.

“They lied in Vietnam with the amount of opposition to the war and they’re lying now,” said Eric Seitz, an attorney who represents Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to the war in Iraq . . .
At Common Dreams, "Israeli Soldier Incarcerated for Refusing to Fight" by Aaron Glantz (original article at OneWorld.net). Clip:
Israeli authorities have sentenced an army officer to 28 days in a military prison for refusing to serve in the ongoing Israeli campaign in Lebanon.

32-year-old Reserve Captain Amir Paster, an infantry officer and student at Tel Aviv University, is the first Israeli soldier to be punished for refusing to serve in the current conflict and has received harsh criticism from the Israeli military for setting what it termed a bad example for his troops.

According to the soldier support group Yesh Gvul ("There Is a Limit"), Paster refused to serve on the grounds that Israeli operations were harming civilians, declaring at his trial "taking part in this war runs contrary to the values upon which he was brought up."

Supporters say Paster's act was courageous given that the vast majority of Jewish Israelis support the war . . .
In The Observer (UK), "Israeli pilots 'deliberately miss' targets". A slice:
At least two Israeli fighter pilots have deliberately missed civilian targets in Lebanon as disquiet grows in the military about flawed intelligence, The Observer has learnt. Sources say the pilots were worried that targets had been wrongly identified as Hizbollah facilities.

Voices expressing concern over the armed forces' failures are getting louder. One Israeli cabinet minister said last week: 'We gave the army so much money. Why are we getting these results?' Last week saw Hizbollah's guerrilla force, dismissed by senior Israeli military officials as 'ragtag', inflict further casualties on one of the world's most powerful armies in southern Lebanon. At least 12 elite troops, the equivalent of Britain's SAS, have already been killed, and by yesterday afternoon Israel's military death toll had climbed to 45 . . .

As international outrage over civilian deaths grows, the spotlight is increasingly turning on Israeli air operations. The Observer has learnt that one senior commander who has been involved in the air attacks in Lebanon has already raised concerns that some of the air force's actions might be considered 'war crimes'.

Yonatan Shapiro, a former Blackhawk helicopter pilot dismissed from reserve duty after signing a 'refusenik' letter in 2004, said he had spoken with Israeli F-16 pilots in recent days and learnt that some had aborted missions because of concerns about the reliability of intelligence information. According to Shapiro, some pilots justified aborting missions out of 'common sense' and in the context of the Israeli Defence Force's moral code of conduct, which says every effort should be made to avoiding harming civilians.

Shapiro said: 'Some pilots told me they have shot at the side of targets because they're afraid people will be there, and they don't trust any more those who give them the coordinates and targets.'

He added: 'One pilot told me he was asked to hit a house on a hill, which was supposed to be a place from where Hizbollah was launching Katyusha missiles. But he was afraid civilians were in the house, so he shot next to the house ...

'Pilots are always being told they will be judged on results, but if the results are hundreds of dead civilians while Hizbollah is still able to fire all these rockets, then something is very wrong.'

So far none of the pilots has publicly refused to fly missions but some are wobbling, according to Shapiro. He said: 'Their target could be a house firing a cannon at Israel and it could be a house full of children, so it's a real dilemma; it's not black and white. But ... I'm calling on them to refuse, in order save our country from self-destruction.' . . .
I can't really think of anything to say except, "Bless you".

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Bringing Democracy to Japan

Hiroshima. August 6, 1945.


To be blunt, America's democracy is not an exportable commodity; it is unique to the United States and the product of 800 years of heroes and villains, war and civil war, racial strife and racial reconciliation, and foolishness and common sense. As the Founders knew, it is grounded in Britain's political experience, Scottish commonsense philosophy, British common law, Calvinist Protestant Christianity, and the absolute requirement of an educated populace to evaluate – and when necessary check – the policies, ambitions, and greed of elected officials. Parenthetically, the failure of Americans to rise up to scorn and terminate the Bush administration's (Democrat-supported) plans to install American-style democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq suggests the country may be wanting in the Founders' educated-populace category.
From "Is There a Role for Reality in US Foreign Policy?" by Michael Scheuer at Antiwar.com.

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8.05.2006

P!-Banging 080506

In their own best interest? Reading "Why the Democrats Aren't Going to Take Back Congress in 2006" by Arthur Altschul at The Huffington Post, it finally dawned on me the the Dumbocrats don't want to win!! Why should they? If they do win and then don't change anything (which they won't), they'll take the bullet . . .

Run, Bill, Run! Please? I know there's gonna be some tough controversy about this, but I'll take down my "Draft Moyers" banner only if he asks me personally and allows me five minutes to try to convince him to run . . .

Nutz! The best piece I've seen so far about the nineoneone "mysteries" is "Exposing the 9/11 Conspiracy Wingnuts" at ICH. A clip:
Obviously tens of millions of Americans, according to polls, want a new investigation into 9/11/2001 and have a strong suspicion of U.S. government involvement at some level. Obviously not all of the national defense, intelligence, aeronautics, physics and engineering experts questioning the official story of 9/11 are insane or unqualified to comment.

This begs the question, in the face of such obvious facts, why do our media personalities continue to attempt to throw out accusations that are patently untrue regarding those who question the official story?

When a television news interviewer continues to ask questions and make assertions that he or she knows to be untrue, this would challenge the expertise and sanity, not of their guests, but of the television news interviewer.

The 9/11 truth movement appears to be growing rapidly, and involving people of substantial credentials and expertise. As television and some radio personalities continue to behave in what obviously is an insane behavior, what do we do? Can we get our national media any psychological help? If not, it would be wise to relieve them of their positions at least. I feel increasingly uneasy about millions of young minds being exposed night after night to comments and opinions by people who increasingly appear to be insane, yet in positions of authority.

Of course the concern here is larger. If there is any possibility or doubt about whether the events of 9/11/2001 were participated in by members of our own government, then our entire democracy and world peace would be strengthened by getting to the bottom of the true facts of this pinnacle event of our time. It would be unhealthy to leave a cloud of doubt hanging over such assertions. There should be a full fledged national debate, experts from all sides should be interviewed on national media to get to the bottom of this once and for all. Our Congress should launch investigations into the physics questions that are causing so many to doubt the official story. No matter where anyone stands on this issue, this is obviously the only path to national healing and trust.

However, this debate on national media cannot occur if the interviewers hired by national media continue to behave in an insane irrational behavior, like "conspiracy theory wing-nuts." You see, too many of our media spokespersons on television and radio adhere to a wild conspiracy theory. Their theory is that anyone who looks into the facts of the events of one of the most important issues in history is alone, and insane, but yet somehow organized in some united conspiratorial effort. Of course, the facts fly in the face of this conspiracy theory, but these media personalities appear unable to grasp reality even when it is pointed out to them.

For media reading this article, time will tell whether you are an insane conspiracy theorist or not. If you too, are among the insane in our media, the public will likely eventually demand your resignation. As one who writes sometimes on parental issues, I believe it is unhealthy to have insane people in charge of the national information highways our children are taught to watch. We need sane media people who look at facts regarding issues, not ones who launch into insane screeds of paranoia to avoid reality . . .
My personal belief is that it was a Rothschild/Illuminati black op that The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang knew about. I'll know I'm right if I wake up with a cross carved into my chest and my balls stuck in my mouth. (I know, I know . . . this kind of stuff is why nobody links to me or leaves comments anymore.) . . .

Viva la Revolución! The American Left doesn't know what the fuck to say about the Cuba thingy. Ejits. "Gee, Bobby Joe. Duz I sposta wear my Ché button, or wut?" I feel more sorry for them than I do about all the spooks in Havana who'll have to cancel their latest cigar smuggling trip and spend all their money trying to run the janitors at the hospital. Hear they're short on Spanish language translators after spending so much effort hiring Farsi speakers. Maybe if I learn Swahili they'll give me a job on spec. Think?


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Dumbinion

I am either/both an atheist (insofar as "God" is a construct of human hysteria) and an agnostic (insofar as I'm smart enough to know I don't know).

My atheistic agnosticism, as well as my current spiritual orientation, are hard won. When my agnostic father died when I was thirteen, I lived for the next six years with my Roman/Irish Catholic grandparents in Dorchester (Boston). I graduated from Boston College High School and went to Holy Cross College until I dropped out in my junior year, crazy and drug-addicted, to live in communes on Beacon Hill and in New Hampshire.

When I got sober a small few years later, I embraced the twelve steps with a vengence. I still do, although I've had to do some soul-searching to reconcile my beliefs with the use of "God" in the program.

For the most part, I staunchly defend the right of every human to practice their beliefs. I say "for the most part" because I can't tolerate intolerance or violence in the name of God. I have little patience for either ignorance or stupidity.

Let me say without reservation that the vast majority of "Christian" extremists are not christians. Period. They are Paulists.

Have you noticed that when these zealots quote the bible (my use of the lower case is intentional), they most often use the old testament? And when they do quote the new one, they studiously avoid quoting the words of Jesus.

At a demonstration some years ago, I stood toe to toe with one of these folks as he screamed apocryphal scripture interspersed with spitting gutter vulgarity. I began in a low voice to recite "The Sermon on the Mount". He paused in his screaming, listened for a second, and lunged at me. Surprisingly enough, a cop gave him a shot in the back of the knees with a riot stick and threw him into the busted bus. I said a prayer for the lad. I really did. I was going to thank the cop, but he was in the process of "disciplining" a couple of folks on my side of the line. Oh, well . . . at least he had a sense of fairness.

I highly recommend "Crackpot Christianity and America's Current Moral Degeneration" by Walter Uhler at OpEd News. Here are some excerpts, with my comments thrown in for their entertainment value. (I'm fighting my way through a depressive episode and I don't apologize):
These Crackpot Christians are largely responsible for placing one of their own, George W. Bush, in the White House. Their astounding ignorance, unquestioning faith, war hawkishness, and fascination with the End of Time subsequently rendered them gullible to the Bush administration's lies and exaggerations about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (especially the apocalyptic "mushroom clouds") and ties to al Qaeda. Thus, they cannot escape responsibility for supporting an illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq . . .
Well, although I agree in principle, there also seem to be a whole lotta folks who nominally oppose this shit who haven't done anything except blame Bush. These folks really make me sick.
"'Dominion theologians,' as they are called, lay great emphasis in Genesis 1:26-27, where God tells Adam to assume dominion over the animate and inanimate world." Moreover, "dominionism...has been hugely influential in the broader evangelical movement," [ibid] thanks to the influence of the Crackpot Christian par excellence, Pat Robertson.

Thus, both the threat posed by Crackpot Christianity and the source of its moral degeneracy spring from attempts to impose on others the ridiculous belief that the Bible is literally true and inerrant. Fifty-five percent of Americans believe the Bible to be literally true. And when you ask Evangelical Protestants whether the Bible is literally true, an astounding 83 percent say, "Yes." . . .
The way I understand "dominion" is that god entrusted the care and safeguarding of this planet and all his creations to humans. Bad choice, god. You shoulda known better. We fucked it up. Use better judgement next time, or your omnipotence is revoked for eternity.
Now, there are at least two problems associated with Crackpot Christianity's End of Time's biblical literalism. First, these crackpots make this claim virtually every time violence flares up in the Middle East. As Mark A, Noll writes in his exceptionally wise book, The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind, within weeks of the outbreak of the Gulf War of 1991, "evangelical publishers provided a spate of books featuring efforts to read this latest Middle East crisis as a direct fulfillment of the biblical prophecy beholding the end of the world." [p. 13] Moreover, as historian Paul Boyer has concluded (in his study of prophecy belief in modern American culture, When Time Shall Be No More):"popular interest in Bible prophecy burgeoned under the impetus of the atomic bomb, the founding of Israel in 1948, and other factors." [p. 10]

The second problem with the End of Time's fixation by Crackpot Christians also was highlighted by Professor Noll. End of Time's believers "all shared a disconcerting conviction that the best way to provide moral judgment about what was happening in the Middle East was not to study carefully what was going on in the Middle East. Rather, they featured a kind of Bible study that drew attention away from careful analysis of the complexities of Middle Eastern culture or the tangled twentieth-century history of the region toward speculation about some of the most esoteric and widely debated passages of the Bible." [pp. 13-14]

Thus, just from these few examples, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that America's Crackpot Christians are no less delusional than the Islamic jihadists who expect virgins in paradise as the reward for their martyrdom. (One scholar of ancient Semitic languages believes that the Koran's "virgin" is a mistranslation of the term "hur," which should be translated to read "white raisin," a prized delicacy in the ancient Near East. See Alexander Stille, "Scholars Are Quietly Offering New theories of the Koran," The New York Times, March 2, 2002)
My conclusion? Eliminate humans and let the whales run the place. It's probably not far off. You ever listen closely to whale song? They're either laughing their flukes off or praying that we're soon gone. Gotta go. Think I'll go swimming.







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Insisting on Integrity

Just for the record, I recently dumped GoogleAds and the Raw Story headline feed from this site.

When I "signed up" for GoogleAds, I trusted them when they said the ads would be related to my content. I could have lived with (**retch**) liberal ads. What I got were mostly business ads. Bye-bye.

I'm really disillusioned with Raw. Their content is fine, and I read it every day. But they're running some ads that are just unacceptable. Like the one for The Huizenga School of Business. Kee-rist!

You can still get to the site through my sidebar - but I'm not gonna prop'em. I absolutely despise liberals with SUVs.

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8.04.2006

Another Country . . . and other timely suggestions

Tom Delay is still on the ballot . . . it has just executed its 17th person since 1/1/06, has 9 more in line, and has killed 372 since 1982 . . . bloggers at Grits for Breakfast have been on top of The Republic's corruption record for years . . . and of course, it is the adopted home of those traitorous Yankees, the Bush family.

There is, thankfully, a shred of hope: there is a secession movement which we definitely should support:

The movement is complete with an interim/provisional government and even a constitution. Here are a coupla clips:
Preamble

We, the people of the Republic of Texas by the grace and beneficence of Creator God, do ordain and reestablish our nation's lawful position among the sovereign nations of the earth in accordance with common law and the Law of Nations, and by these articles do reestablish the government of the Republic of Texas in this its Interim mode. This action formally dissolves the military rule that has existed over Texas since 1865 . . .

Foundation

The Interim Government of the Republic of Texas as established by the Texians’ Declaration of Independence of March 29, 2003, hereby adopts as the basis of its foundation, the will of the People in their inherent right to alter, abolish, or reform their government as expressed in the Plans and Powers of the Provisional Government of Texas of November 13, 1835; Plans and Powers of the Provisional Government of Texas of December 13, 1995, as amended through 2002, Declaration of Independence of March 2, 1836; the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, done March 17, 1836; the Constitutions of Texas (1845, 1861, 1865, 1869, 1876), the Laws of the Republic of Texas 1836-1845, and the Common Law of Texas . . .
I'm all for it! Just think of the wonderful implications!! We could then deport our entire sitting government to the new Republic, so they'd have a leg up.




Now that we're on a roll, we could . . .

build a bridge between Key West and Havana, then sell Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties to Cuba . . .

preemptively nuke both India and Pakistan, so Gates' and Buffett's billions of bucks could be put to reconstructive use . . .

elevate the Pentagon. Oh, yeah, that's already been tried. Sorry.

Got any other bright ideas?




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8.03.2006

President Moyers? You betcha!



I just can't think of anybody more right for the job.

Here are some folks promoting a "Draft Moyers" movement:

Irregular Times

CaféPress

Molly Ivins

PuddingTime

Please vote in the new P!oll about whether you support a "Draft Moyers" movement.

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Smacking the Monkey Back

Thanks to blogScream, I've discovered harp and sword, written by Minstrel Boy in Arizona.

I like this cat's politics.

What I like even more, however, is that he's trying to beat a smack addiction, and is blogging about it.

Those who've been regulars here know that I'm an addict, too . . . and I've struggled with the same stuff he's going through. I've not had the courage to blog in such detail about detoxing and being in early recovery, but this guy does.

Visit him. Support him. Or I'll send Vinnie and Guido around to straighten you the fuck out, ovah dere.

***UPDATE***

When I posted this, I hadn't yet read through his "Detox Blues" series. I thought this shit was happening as we speak, but apparently he's been at sobriety for thirteen years. Good on'im, I say.

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